Platform: PS 3, Xbox 360, Windows
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Visceral Games
Release date: January 25, 2011
Genre: Survival Horror
Dead Space 2 is the sequel to Visceral Games’ Dead Space which was released to fairly good reviews receiving a 90 and 89 Metacritic score for Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively. In this review I will be breaking it up into two separate parts. I will start off with the single player and then multi-player. I am doing it this way, as this was the way I played the game and it is still fresh in my mind. If I sound like a little Dead Space fanboy after you read this review, it’s because after playing this game it made me one. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: There may be little spoilers in the Review such as some story elements and also some enemies if you don’t want anything spoiled for you just head on to multi-player section! HAVE FUN!
Single Player Story:
Let’s start off with the single player mode. You play as Isaac the main protagonist from Dead Space one of course. You start the game on a giant space colony called the sprawl that is being overrun by Necromorphs. If you haven’t played the first game the Necromorphs are the alien creatures from the first game. If you haven’t played the first Dead Space, don’t worry: there is an option to replay the story from the first one to get caught up, its all cut scenes to bring you up to speed. The game starts out with someone asking Isaac questions about his dead wife Nicole and what happened on the Ishimura. While playing sequels, I’m usually skeptical about them because I feel that you know how a game is going to go from the first time you start it. I have to say that DS2 does wonders in that regard. The game starts out after the interrogation cut scene with you literally running for your life. You have no weapon, no armor, your in a straight jacket while being chased by a lot of Necromorphs. If you played Dead Space you will know that the hallmark in this series are its creepiness and scare tactics. I have to say that this game betters on that formula. This game is one of the scariest games that I have ever played.
Resident Evil may have started the horror genre but, Dead Space has evolved it into something more. Something to note in the game is the ambient sound in the environments. While I was playing the game I was always on my guard watching out for enemies that I would think pop out of vents and corners. The problem with this is that I found little things scaring the pants out of me. Little things like alarm clocks, people whispering in the background, thuds and crashes while searching for the next objective. You will be scared from beginning to end. This is not your typical horror game either. There are some parts in the game that will just freak you out. The new enemies that they introduce in the game are some of the freakiest things that I have ever seen. I’ll say this when a developer introduces EXPLODING babies and children that run in packs to take down a target you know its a good game.
They have also put in some puzzles that require you to think about the environment you are in and that was very impressive to me. Things such as using a dead person’s body on a door scan to gain access to the next area. There is also a section where you must use a gas canister under a huge door in which you shoot it to boost the door wide open. It may sound like a pain in the butt, but as you play the game you can see it is not a hassle at all. Zero-G is back and the guys at visceral have expanded on it. I thought this worked very well in the game. In fact I felt that it brought about another aspect of space exploration. Ever wanted to be a space engineer well now you can! In areas where you see that the gravity is disrupted you can easily Click the L3 button and boom, blast off. Some areas will require you to enter Zero-G to fly around to find pieces of a machine to rebuild. Well peeps, If you want to see a brief clip of what I’m talking about click below to see 1 min of Chapter one; don’t worry it won’t ruin the game for you.
Multi-player in DS2 consists of squad based objectives. There are two rounds of each match and within those 2 rounds you will play one as either side. You can start out as a Necromorph or as an engineer. Let me look at the Necromorph side first. You can start out a match picking either a Pack, Lurker, Pucker, or Spitter Necromorph. There are different ones but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you. All the Necromorphs at a certain level will obtain a perk that can make them stronger. However in the beginning you will be at a weaker state than most because of this fact. As you progress through matches and begin to get better you will unlock new things. I would state what they are but, I feel as though you should go find them out for yourself. The Necromorphs are very easy to control and you can use them in strategic fashion. Much of this portion requires everyone to work as a team to stop the engineers from reaching their objective. Sometimes you have to defend a certain area and other times it will require you to destroy an object.
This is also true for the engineers. The engineers can unlock new suit upgrades and weapons as you reach new levels. You can unlock new upgrades for your weapons, and your suit can also get more powerful things such as stasis etc… Like I stated before this game is heavily based on teamwork and reaching your objective. If you are a person that likes to work on your own you will clearly find out sooner or later that this will not fly in this game. If you get swarmed by a bunch of Necromorphs you are more than likely to get taken out. There are strength in numbers and although this may seem redundant its the truth. Most of the things you have in single player are used in multiplayer. When you first start a game you will have a plasma cutter and a pulse rifle. These are your primary weapons. When you reach a higher level that is when you can unlock stasis energy, upgrade for your weapons and get new weapons and suits. There 60 ranks to reach and there about 15+ suits you can get I believe. This game is very fun online. The only gripe I had was that some of the people you encounter will need direction. It’s no secret that some people like to play by themselves, just like the Necromorphs your team has to protect the person carrying the object to the next spot or protect the person destroying the machine. If you don’t make a strategy or communicate than you won’t make any progress in the game. If the game had some quick commands that could be sent to other teammates to notify them than I believe it would make it easier. One more thing guys you know that creepy feeling I was talking about before. It’s still here and you can scare the living daylights out of people online.
Final thoughts: I have to say that this game is one of the best games that I have ever played and we are only in the beginning of the new year. If this year continues to produce games that have a great storyline and also have a good online multi-player component its going to be a hard to decide what to buy. If your still on the fence about buying this game, I suggest you man up and buy this game. If you love being scared and can muster enough guts than this is for you. If you are scared of games like this than I have to say that I feel bad for you, your missing out on a fun time. You’re going to miss one epic ending to a great game its eye popping! I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I had playing this game and writing it for you. My next review is for LittleBigPlanet 2, stay tuned for that. Also to note: the first person to message me on the PSN telling me what the next review I’m writing is will get something special. PSN ID: WhitWhit
Update: Well guys, Senzu wins the Dead Space ignition code. Congratulations! If I get anymore codes, I may give them out on twitter or in a review.
Here’s a pic of the plasma cutter just for the Dead Space Fans out there.
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